The head of the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (SACE) says while the provincial government has proposed what it describes as “modest” additional funding to address rising demand for sexual assault services, it will not solve the problem of survivors needing to wait for help.
In a news release issued Wednesday, SACE CEO Mary Jane James said people at her organization “see the impacts of sexual violence every day and continue to offer essential support services at no fee,” but with growing numbers of Albertans asking for trauma counselling, wait times at SACE are now exceeding 12 months.
“Despite how far our world has come with understanding the prevalence and seriousness of this issue, sexual violence continues to have a very consistent presence in our society. The stats have not changed: nearly half of Albertans will experience sexual violence in their life,” James said.
“We also know that sexual violence disproportionately impacts those who are pushed into positions of vulnerability, including Black, Indigenous and other racialized people, members of 2SLGBTQ+ communities and people with disabilities.”